By Rob Hellmann, GetFive Certified Coach

You may spend hours agonizing over sending one email to ask for a job interview, but the reality is that it might get lost in a jam-packed inbox. On average, working professionals send and receive 125 emails every day. That’s a lot of noise to break through, especially when you’re trying to stand out and secure a job opportunity or interview.

But there’s good news. With a few best practices, you can get your email to shine among the rest. Improve your response rates when you follow these seven rules:

  1. Make your email “scannable”

No one wants to read a long, dense letter. Use short paragraphs, bullet points and bolded subheadings to break up the content and turn your email into a quick read. Stick to the point and be careful not to repeat yourself.

  1. Start with an engaging subject line

The subject line is like your email’s first impression. The more specific and relevant the subject line, the more likely your recipient will open the email.

  1. Create a professional sounding email address

[email protected] won’t get you anywhere but straight to the spam folder. [email protected] makes a better impression and shows you are serious about the opportunity to communicate with the recipient.

  1. Focus on them

You might be tempted to rattle off your achievements and experiences, but the goal of your email is to tell the recipient how your meeting would benefit him or her. Be specific and try to avoid generic statements like, “your company is great.” If you’re asking for help or advice, be sure to express your appreciation.

  1. Get to the point

Ideally, you should state your reason for reaching out in the first paragraph. Your first goal is to land a face-to-face meeting, whether or not there is a job opening or business opportunity available. Once you meet, you’ll establish a relationship that could lead to referrals or other potential opportunities down the road.

  1. Include your pitch

Summarize your background in one or two sentences and link it to how you can help them. This is where you can add in a bulleted list of a few of your accomplishments. Make your pitch powerful to really get the reader interested in meeting you in person.

  1. End with a clear call to action

Make it easy for them to hit reply and answer your request. “Would you have 15-20 minutes available to talk?” You could also say something like, “I’ll contact your office to see if I can get on your calendar in a few days, assuming I don’t hear from you first.”

Get these email basics down and you’ll be landing those professional meetings and making contacts in no time at all.

Robert Hellmann has been a career and executive coach with GetFive since 2003. He is the author of the book Your Social Media Job Search.


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